Fine, Totally Fine

Three misfits occupy themselves with their various obsessions before romance rears its divisive head in the amiable, generally low-key Japanese comedy "Fine, Totally Fine." Playing like a stoner comedy without the drugs, Yosuke Fujita's film is likely to create broad smiles and occasional belly laughs as it drifts through the festival circuit. Pic is scheduled for local release this month.

With:
With: YosiYosi Arakawa, Yoshino Kimura, Yoshinori Okada.

Three misfits occupy themselves with their various obsessions before romance rears its divisive head in the amiable, generally low-key Japanese comedy “Fine, Totally Fine.” Playing like a stoner comedy without the drugs, Yosuke Fujita’s film is likely to create broad smiles and occasional belly laughs as it drifts through the festival circuit. Pic is scheduled for local release this month.

A socially awkward Tokyo bookshop clerk, Teruo (YosiYosi Arakawa, amusingly rambunctious) has ambitions to build his own fully functional haunted house; in the meantime, he gets his jollies by videotaping scary practical jokes on innocent bystanders. His best buddy, hospital administrator Hisanobu (Yoshinori Okada), helps him out, but when both fall for accident-prone artist Akari (Yoshino Kimura), the pair’s friendship is threatened. Despite winning a prize for his Super 8 feature “A Terrible Tiger” at the 1987 Turin Film Festival, helmer is best known for his legit work in Japan. Workmanlike direction focuses largely on the comical thesps, while the ambling narrative is buoyed by jaunty “Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday”-like music from Mai Ekomo. Technically, film is a cut above usual Japanese indie fare.

Fine, Totally Fine

Japan

Production: A Fine, Totally Fine Film Partners production, in association with Tohokushinsha Film Commission, Stylejam, Pony Canyon, Yomiuri Telecasting. (International sales: Stylejam, Tokyo.) Produced by Naoko Arai, Kozo Kogoe. Executive producer, Naoki Kai. Directed, written by Yosuke Fujita.

Crew: Camera (color), Yoshihiro Ikeuchi; editor, Zensuke Hori; music, Mai Ekomo; production designer, China Hayashi. Reviewed at Hong Kong Film Festival (Global Vision), March 21, 2008. Original Japanese title: Zen zen daijobu. Running time: 110 MIN.

With: With: YosiYosi Arakawa, Yoshino Kimura, Yoshinori Okada.

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